It is hard to escape the memes of 2020 as this year has been especially hard on everyone, including married couples. Early on during the U.S. lockdowns, experts warned that the additional lockdown measures would push more and more married couples to divorce, causing a divorce rate surge. Unfortunately, at least anecdotally, this seems to be occurring.

Why is the divorce rate surging?

The lockdowns are just that, lockdowns, and they exacerbate all the problems that couples may normally have because they are now spending 100% of their time with their spouses. That means no breaks with friends, no lunches with coworkers, and being face-to-face with their spouse all day, every day. That alone can put a strain on a relationship because often, no matter how much we like and love another, 100% contact is rarely ideal.

But, this 100% contact is not the only stressor. Indeed, 2020’s economic toll has been historic, with many losing jobs. Though, even for those that have not, they must still work in now dangerous and deadly conditions, or navigate a new work from home environment. In addition, for those with children, spouses must now pull double-duty as they are now expected to both work, take care of their children and teach their child all at the same time, a Herculean feat. These multiple stressors will naturally cause friction, which is now leading to that divorce rate surge.

How bad is the divorce rate surge?

While there are not official numbers yet, legal document providers are reporting a 34% increase in divorce agreement sales over this time last year, and law firms are reporting a 70% increase in divorce related contacts. These are huge numbers as our country’s divorce rate was already high.

What does one do if they are thinking about divorce?

If one is truly done, call an attorney. Though, remember, we are living through history times, and the work changes, isolation and health concerns that we are living with right now will not last forever. As such, the first call should probably be to a family therapist, marriage counsel, pastor or some similar confidant. This person can help Sacramento, California, residents determine if divorce is truly the answer.

Nonetheless, if one determines that the relationship is over (and, it is okay to make that choice), then call an attorney immediately. After all, in an extraordinarily stressful time, divorce will only increase that stress. It is the attorney’s job to lessen that stress and help protect one’s life.